Students Zeeshan Khan and James Meli, along with alumni Emmanuel Daramola and Billi Meli, recently released their mobile application, aimed at connecting students through campus events. With more than 350 downloads so far, they are excited about the possibilities the app provides.
As freshmen, they didn’t know where to look to find all of the fun activities happening at Wichita State. The group wanted to make it easier for students to get involved, without having to keep up with several calendars and social media accounts.
With backgrounds in biomedical engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science, the team had an in-depth set of knowledge to help make the app a reality. Brothers Billi and James worked on programming, while Emmanuel and Zeeshan handled communication and operations.
“We did research into what social media is lacking and decided to create something tailored to users,” Zeeshan said. “Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have a lot of event sharing, but they also have other purposes.”
Alonzie, named after the French word “allons-y,” which means “let’s go,” is an event sharing app that allows users to discover, create and share events. James originally came up with the idea in 2016 as something he could put on his resume, but needed to focus on other commitments. When the others got involved, it grew into a serious project with hours of research and development.
“As a team, we are learning and trying to implement new features to accommodate users to the best of our ability,” Zeeshan said.
So far, the app includes features like a map, detailed event pages, groups, public and private event options, navigation, Uber and ticket integration and filters. The group’s goal is to provide an easy to use, all-inclusive way for WSU students to stay informed about activities happening on campus and around Wichita. They are already talking to different WSU departments and organizations about how they can benefit from Alonzie.
“Everyone is so used to the social media we have right now,” Zeeshan said. “Showing people the value of Alonzie is what we have been trying to do.”
With WSU as a starting point, they hope to expand Alonzie and help connect people around the world. Right now, the app is only available for iOS devices as the team continues to test and upgrade it, but they plan on releasing an Android version by the end of the year.
The group is passionate about their work and thankful to WSU for being a perfect place to learn and grow. Each of them is grateful to be a part of Shocker Nation. Starting the app here at WSU is their way of saying thank you.
“Wichita State is like our second home,” Zeeshan said. “We wanted to give something back to the university and to the students.”